Mac and cheese casserole is a centuries old staple dish of north Europe eaten all over the world. It is very popular with kids and is very easy to make. Mac and cheese is a very popular traditional dish of Finland known as Makaronilaatikko in Finnish. It consists of milk, eggs, choice of minced meat like ham, beef or chicken or vegetables with lots of cheese and bread crumbs sprinkled over. It is baked in an oven till the cheese melts and turns brown. Mac and cheese casserole serves as a very good side dish.
Preparation Time: 10 to 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 to 40 minutes
Ingredients For Classic Vegetarian Mac And Cheese Casserole
2 cups or 250 Gms elbow macaroni
1 ½ lit water
¼ cup butter
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 cups milk
1 ½ tablespoons flour
½ cup fresh cream
5 to 6 tablespoons buttered bread crumbs
½ teaspoon pepper powder
Salt to taste
Boil water in a vessel. Add 1 teaspoon butter, ½ teaspoon salt and macaroni to it. Cook till macaroni becomes soft. Take it off the flame and drain. Put it in cold water until it cools off and then drain again. Rub a little butter to it and keep aside.
1. Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a pan. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes till the flour is roasted. Add milk and cream to it little by little. Keep stirring continuously till the sauce begins to boil. Add half of the cheese and salt. Cook till the cheese melts. Take it off the flame and mix pepper. Fold the macaroni in the white sauce and coat well.
2. Grease a baking dish with the remaining butter and put the macaroni in it. Sprinkle the cheese and bread crumbs.
Preheat the oven at 200℃ for 10 minutes. Put the baking dish in the oven and lower the temperature to 170℃. Bake for 30 minutes till the cheese turns brown. Serve hot. (You can add vegetables like capsicum, zucchini, eggplant, squash, potatoes or any other of your choice. Just sauté the vegetables in little olive oil or butter, add little minced garlic and oregano. Mix it with macaroni and bake.)
Mac And Cheese Casserole With Chicken
One recipe classic Mac and cheese as given above.
1 ½ cup boiled chicken cut into small pieces.
1 large onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 big green capsicum diced
7 to 8 button mushrooms sliced
2 tablespoon chopped green olives.
2 hard boiled eggs cut into small pieces
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon butter
Heat the butter in a wok. Add onions and cook till they are translucent. Add garlic and cook for a minute. Add the rest of the ingredients except the chicken and cook till the mushrooms turn brown. Grease a baking dish. Put a layer of cooked vegetables, then chicken and macaroni folded in white sauce. Repeat the layers. Sprinkle cheese and bread crumbs. Pre heat the oven and bake it for 45 minutes at 170℃.Serve hot as a main dish. Instead of chicken, ham or beef can also be used. To make it spicy you can add a dash of paprika.